Digital Ads, Paid Search, Display Ads: Worth It?

Digital Ads, Paid Search, Display Ads: Worth It?

August 29, 2017


Hello everyone – welcome to Digitize Your Firm webinar where we’re talking all about digital ads and taking you through Paid Search and Display Ad boot camp.

For anyone joining us who is a digital ad pro or for those who have additional questions, simply click the green speech bubble at the top of the screen to open the chat and either type out your comment or ask to speak. If you already, be sure to click the ‘phone’ icon next to it to ensure your audio is connected.

As with all Digitize Your Firm webinars, this will be recorded for later playback in case you wanted extra time with a certain section or for listening on the go. If you haven’t already, visit the Weekly Webinar Schedule on our Digitize Your Firm page to check out our past webinars.

Now, let’s go over today’s agenda.


We’re going to start off the webinar with a bit of information on what digital ads are before beginning to talk about Google Paid Search and Display ads, and then close out by answering the question – why do digital?

We’ll do our usual review, present the topic for next week, and of course – provide a chance to answer questions you may have thought of as we come to our conclusion.

Let’s Talk Digital Ads

When it comes to digital ads – odds are, you’ve come across them daily. They’re on your favorite websites, your social media profiles, they’re even on anything you google, and have successfully leaped from the television screen to your computer monitor.

But where do they come from? How do you use them effectively? Is there a reason a shirt you looked at a week ago keeps showing up on websites you go to?

All of these questions and more will be answered in today’s webinar. We’ll be exploring the different types of online ads you come across, digitally marketing through these ads, and more.

But why online ads? It may come as no surprise to you that the average person today actually spends more time on the internet than watching tv, reading the newspapers, magazine and all other media combined.

This has led to many different companies and industries putting their best foot forward and investing a large amount of capital into online advertisements. This spend has made the internet the largest medium to be advertised on, taking over the first place position once held by TV. In fact, in Canada alone – over 3.5 million US dollars are expected to be made in digital ad revenue this year.

The question on everyone’s mind however – are these ads effective? Surely if these dollars being pumped to place advertisements in front of you, it must yield some result. We’ll be answering this questions too – and the answer may surprise you.

Now let’s talk Google Paid Search and Display Ads.

Online Ad Bootcamp

Have you searched a term like ‘pink sundress’ or ‘computer repair’ on a search engine and immediately have links appear before right beneath the search bar? You may or may not have noticed that these links have ‘Ad’ written next to time and they represent one of two ad types we’ll talk about.

Paid search ads on links and advertisements that businesses and organizations pay to have appear when an internet user, such as yourself, searches a combination of keywords like ‘computer keyboard halifax’.

The key to powerful paid searches are being is specific as possible to ensure that your services and products match precisely with what a user is searching for. If you’re selling locally grown vegetables, make sure to include all of those keywords into the search, including your location.

Once this is complete, you place bids on keywords and your keywords are detected on a search, your link pops up. You then pay when your link is clicked while keeping in line with a daily spending budget.

The second type are display ads, which are the ads you often see as graphics, videos, text, or images. These ads are not unlike snowflakes – they come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be found across the digital landscape we travel. The display ads you see can be dependent on a variety of factors – your location, previous sites you’ve visited, age, demographic, interests and more so they can be uniquely tailored for you.

Both of these ad types get in front of you through a variety of ways but the amount you pay for them can be one of three options:

1. Cost Per Click (CPC): Just as it sounds, cost per click means that you only pay when someone clicks on your ads. It means that you only pay for the results that are delivered. This form of payment is also known as PPC, or pay per click.

2. Cost Per Impression (CPM): The ‘M’ is CPM is meant to be the roman numeral for 1,000 and means you pay every time 1,000 people see your ad. If payment plan focuses more on exposure than results.

3. Fixed Cost: As you may have encountered fix cost agreements before, it means your ad will be displayed at certain times with one overall cost that isn’t associated with impressions or clicks.

It should be mentioned that all of these payment types using come with daily limits, allowing for flexibility and helping ensure that you don’t go over budget.

When it comes to online advertising, it is important to talk quality score that look at your ads and can either have your ad viewed by more audiences at a lower cost, or seen by fewer for a higher cost. The quality of your ad can be measured in a number of ways, but the staples are:

1. Relevancy: Is your ad relevant to the keywords your have selected? Ensure that you are specific in the keywords you choose.

2. Landing Page: Is the landing page that your ad is directing users to easy to navigate, answer their questions, provide service, etc. The landing page should also be relevant and to the product or service being directed to – linking to your home page when you’re speaking to a specific product can harm this metric.

3. Ad text: Is your ad text relevant to your key words, is there a lot of text or a small amount of text? The best ads are clean, clear and get their message across in as few words are possible.

4. Mobility: Is your ad and landing page optimized for mobile phones? As we discussed last week, mobile phones are key to reaching your audiences and 61 percent of mobile phone users are unlikely to return to a site they have trouble with on their mobile phone. Adding to that, 41 percent will go to a competitor’s site.

5. Past performance: What is your history posting ads and have you seen positive results? If you have a history of underperforming ads, it can affect you in the long run so be sure to start off on strong footing.

This is all fine and dandy – but you’re probably wondering if these ads are worth it. So let’s now talk about the stats behind these ads and how they can help your business.

Is it worth it?

You’ve probably be pondering this question since we started.

I’ve put a lot of information into your lap and while you may have been intrigued by some of it, the question still stands: are online ads worth my time and energy?

The answer is “Yes!” but don’t just take our word for it.


When it comes to return-on-investment (ROI), studies have shown that it is possible for companies running digital ads return close to three dollars of the amount spent. Furthermore, they actually tends to increase the effectiveness of other mediums you may be advertising on. This not only better rounds out your marketing mix, but allows you to explore a new avenues of marketing while using already created content to reach more people.


What makes digital ads stand out some much is the hard analytics they can return. Traditional advertising methods such as tv, radio, billboard, magazine, and newspaper ads were effective, but it were difficult to see ROI. You could know the magazine’s circulation, the potential viewership of an ad or the audience of a radio ad then compare it to trends in sales, but you could not definitively know.

With digital ads, all of the analytics we’ve discussed are hard numbers that are reported in real time so you can judge the campaign’s effectiveness and even change tactics midstream. You know how many unique views and ad has gained, the amount of clicks received, and which resulted in conversions – often in real time!


For the most part, digital ads are much more cost effective than buying airtime or sending out a direct mail campaign. A successful campaign that reaches over 2,000 people can be run for less than $100, while the cost of advertisement can go from $150 and up. Not only do you get to reach more people at a fraction of the cost, but you can increase or decrease ad spend at will within a matter of seconds or edit the digital ad itself with new content.


By far one of the greatest benefits of using digital ads is their accessibility. Nearly everyone has a phone or computer in today’s society while other mediums, such as cable tv, have seen cord cutting and thus less eyes on their channels and advertisements. Every car has a radio, but that doesn’t stop people from buying auxiliary cords or using bluetooth to play their own music while they drive.

It is to be sad that ad-blocking technology has become popular online, but as websites see revenue from ads they have begin to not allow users on their site until the blocking technology is disabled. There are also some channels, such as Facebook and Twitter where you will still see sponsored content regardless.

So why not go digital?

With all of these reasons combined, it’s hard not to see the value that digital marketing provides even while combined with traditional advertising methods. Adding digital marketing into your existing marketing mix can only make your business stronger – and it’s cost less than $100. That’s the power of digitization.

Have we convinced you? If so, you won’t want to miss out on tomorrow’s email, where we’ll be explaining all the digital marketing best practices you need to ensure your first digital ad is a success.

Lessons Learned

To review, let’s go over what we’ve covered today:

1. Digital ads are very powerful tools – as you yourself may have seen. Internet is the new medium that has taken over the majority of ad spend with more people spending time online than with traditional mediums. Not only have digital ads becoming the new priority for many businesses looking to advertise, but it has become the new No.1 ad-spend medium.

2. We got into Google Paid Search and Display Ads, with the key different being that search ads show up when a certain keywords are selected and display ads being visual ads that are shown on different sites. These ads can be paid for different ways, from cost per click to cost per 1000 impressions or at a fixed cost to you. Remember that the likelihood of your ads showing up depend on many factors, from the amount of money you bid to the relevancy of your ad which is measured across different factors.

These factors include the relevancy of you ad to the words being searched, how relevant the landing page is, the text including keywords and being easily readable, the mobile responsiveness of the site, and your past performance using digital ads. While Adblockers were once a looming threat, there are work arounds quickly becoming common practice and social media sites do, for a large part, remain unaffected.

3. We ended off by talking about the effectiveness of online ads. From providing three dollars ROI for every dollar spent to helping your other advertisements on different mediums, they offer impressive stats. That was also one of the selling points – cold, hard stats that can tell how much the ads has been viewed, conversion, impressions, reach and more. You don’t need to rely on trying to connect a paper’s circulation base to potential jumps in sales numbers – everything is laid out before you. They also are much more cost effective and flexible budget wise, allowing you ad or take away the amount being spend with ease. Finally – they are incredibly accessible as the internet is quickly being come to see as a necessity.

So why not go digital with your advertisement?

Next Week

Next week we’re going to be keep the momentum up by talking about advertising on social media. We’re going to start the conversation on Facebook, and Twitter ad followed by a best practices for digital advertisement in general.

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